Dubai // The leader of an international drugs and money-laundering gang is behind bars in Dubai after a year-long, four-nation investigation that Dubai Police called Operation Shark.
Special drugs task-force officers in Dubai, the UK, South Africa and the Netherlands carried out co-ordinated raids between December 10 and 12 last year, arrested 13 people and seized nearly one and a half tonnes of narcotics and more than Dh2 million in laundered money, it was revealed yesterday.
Four of the arrests were made in Dubai. Three of those held will be tried on charges of trading in harmful substances, and money laundering. The fourth is wanted in an unspecified European country and has been extradited there, Dubai Police said yesterday.
"One of them was running a bogus company in Dubai to cover his illegal activity," said Major General Khamis Al Mazeina, deputy head of the Dubai Police. "Investigations revealed he was responsible for the funding of the drugs."
The gang leader is a European citizen who had earlier been imprisoned on narcotics charges in Europe. The two other people arrested are from an unspecified Asian country.
In the South African part of the operation, seven people were arrested and 316kg of cocaine and 100,000 mandrax tablets were seized on December 12.
Simultaneously, in the Netherlands, police seized more than 1.1kg of hashish and marijuana and money worth the equivalent of Dh500,000. In the UK, British authorities made two arrests and seized more than Dh1.8 million in laundered money.